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Horizons

November 29th, 2010

It happens gradually, so gradually as to be unnoticed. Becoming more comfortable with a job and living arrangements, you get into a routine. Meals, showers, laundry are all just punctuation points. Actually, it is not really a settled routine; it is a rut which absorbs most of your interest and attention.

As this happens, your horizons contract and you aren’t even aware. The world is the base, that 1.5 miles strip of Disney Drive long and about two blocks deep on either side. People, vehicles, noise and dust, I don’t even pay attention.

Obviously, distant events don’t cease nor does the daily flood of email bringing new challenges and the same subjects over and over diminish. It is just that you don’t really see what is happening around you.

This morning, for whatever reason while headed to work I stopped and looked up. Up at the mountains ringing the base with their sharp stony spears gleaming against the early morning light. I had forgotten there were mountains since they are obscured by dust most of the time.

At least that sounds like a good excuse. But really, I just haven’t been looking up and out to the world around me. My horizons had shrunk to my little corner of the base; my area of comfort.

It probably is not that different from most of us at home. We get so wrapped up in our daily lives that there might as well be nothing outside the daily corridor that contains our existence. Before you ask – I am not depressed and don’t believe it has anything to do at all with depression. Rather, routine is comfortable. But it also can be confining.

There must be roses somewhere……

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  1. Linda
    November 29th, 2010 at 19:37 | #1

    I agree that settling in means focusing on the immediate. the surroundings become familiar – no longer so new and strange. There is work to be done. we aren’t where we are as tourists but as people with work to do – so we get used to the surroundings and focus on our work. It takes a beautiful day or a change of season to catch our attention again.

  2. Ron
    November 29th, 2010 at 20:22 | #2

    mid deployment crazies are setting in… too much time on your hands. This is when I would really start to hit the work outs hard. make yourself too tired to think about anything but the next meal and the next opportunity to sleep.

  3. Alison H
    November 29th, 2010 at 21:35 | #3

    Beautiful. And powerful. You DID notice–and at a time and in a way that
    makes the rest of us sit up and take notice. Thank you for this; your
    words this morning are powerful and I am looking out the window at how
    the morning light hits the wet leaves, now that the rain has stopped.

    I might not have paid attention if you hadn’t; thank you for this.

  4. April
    November 30th, 2010 at 23:44 | #4

    It’s like driving home and not remembering the drive. The older we get the less we notice, that is why kids are great, they live for the now. So do dogs.

    I do the same, and one day someone I know started putting up pictures of the sunset and i realized i hadnt seen a sunset in how long? time to go watch the sun set ….

  5. Beverley
    December 1st, 2010 at 20:47 | #5

    Another of your thought-provoking e-mails. You are absolutely right – too often people never look beyond their own comfort zone. How many people, when walking down a familiar street, never look up above their own eye level? And in not doing so, they miss a whole new world of architecture beyond the glitzy shop-fronts. Then there is the dimension of time – looking back at what was there before the present. Those mountains – how did they come to be there? What shaped them? That’s when it starts to get interesting – check out http://www.bgs.ac.uk/afghanminerals/geology.htm for a glimpse into a whole new dimension, as well as the hidden resources of the country. Probably not roses, but definitely gems.

    For a religious dimension, Psalm 121 also offers another view on the mountains.

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